New Zealand Law Society - Committee unable to agree that Terrorism Suppression Bill be passed

Committee unable to agree that Terrorism Suppression Bill be passed

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The parliamentary Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported on the Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill and is unable to recommend that the bill be passed. The committee provided amendments if the House should decide that the bill should proceed.

The committee considered 101 submissions and heard oral evidence from 18 submitters. Most submitters were concerned about the expedited legislative process and many questioned the need for this legislation. Others, including the New Zealand Law Society, raised concerns about the bill operating in the civil, rather than criminal jurisdiction. Many submitters were concerned about the procedure to be followed with control orders, and whether they would adequately protect New Zealander’s rights and freedoms.

Main proposed amendments

Clauses 12 to 14

Clause 12 sets out what information must be in a control order. The order would need to state the restrictions that it imposed, and the order’s duration. The Committee recommends amending clauses 12(3) and 13(4) to make it clear that the court could make control orders on any terms and conditions it considered appropriate, and state these in the order.

Clause 14 would allow an interim control order to be issued. This may be issued without notice and the person would have the right to challenge the order, and a final order would need to be applied for within three months. The committee recommends clarifying this by amending clause 14(2) so that if the application was made without notifying the person concerned, the court must also hear and determine the subsequent hearing without them. This is designed to avoid possible confusion and delay in obtaining an order

Clause 32

Clause 32 provides for automatic suppression of the identity of a relevant person if a control order, or an application for one, was made. If the person asked for the suppression to be lifted, the court would be required to do so as long as it was satisfied that the person understood the effect of allowing their identity to be published.

The Committee was concerned that there might be a situation where such a person might want notoriety and would therefore seek to have suppression lifted so they could publicise their views.

Clause 32(4) should be amended so that the court could refuse the person’s request to lift the name suppression, the committee says.